MOUNT VERNON — The decision to extend the license suspension of Chen’s Buffet was handed down by the Knox County Board of Health when it met in regular session Wednesday evening. Chen’s had previously been given a 30-day suspension at the April 27 board meeting after repeated violations were noted of improper food handling and sanitation procedures. Owner Chen Hui Chen was expected to correct the violations and to show they could effectively meet food safety standards.
While the Chens have satisfactorily completed safety courses in Chinese, they have not been able to understand the requirements set before them in English. “We have an ethical and moral responsibility to our community to see that they are safely preparing food,” said board member Keith Plocki. “I need to be assured their responsibility is there.”
Knox County Health Commissioner Julie Miller stated that there have been “no improvements” made since the April license suspension. A meeting with the owners and an English translator took place May 2 to explain what is needed for their license to be re-instated. No word was then received until Monday this week when a Serv-Safe course instructor called stating the Chens were having difficulty understanding the requirements written in English.